One might well ask – why will anyone be interested in Sabhas? What is their incentive? The political entrepreneurs may do it for some bit of fame. But the members – what’s in it for them? It is a two-sided marketplace – members and political entrepreneurs are both needed in sufficient numbers for it to succeed. How will this happen?
I will try and answer all of these questions one by one. Of course, all that I say is in the context of Sabhas as a thought experiment – to make us all think differently about changing the future. Sabhas is just one idea; I hope others can come up with more. The political marketplace needs disruption. Who better than startups to do it?! Think of Sabhas as one possible startup idea.
Sabhas is an alternate world – a metaverse of sorts. It is connected with the real world, but it also is a universe of its own because the discussions, debates, policies do not necessarily impact the real world. Think of it as augmented reality – a layer on the world around us. It is not just a game, because over time the people who participate will change the world around them.
Let’s look at the two sides of Sabhas – members and political entrepreneurs. How can we attract both and create a positive feedback loop such that more members attract more political entrepreneurs who in turn attract more members and so on. Let us examine the incentives for both and design a system that can get this flywheel going.
- Will likely come from those who are not committed to a specific political party – the non-aligned and non voters
- Need to see a path to a better future and personal benefits: an upwardly mobile future
- Will also need to feel a sense of anger and frustration at the current state of things
- Have to think of Sabhas as their vehicle for bringing about change – one day at a time
- Sabhas has to become a daily utility in their lives – a habit on which they spend 5-10 minutes daily
- Need to be asked to do simple actions – share something with friends, persuade a new person to join, answer a survey attend a meetup, participate in a debate, give views on hot issues
- Have a safe space where they can discuss with others like them – without getting trolled
- Their actions can earn them points – which get recognition in the form of a leaderboard
- Have games and challenges they can participate in – and learn as they play
- Have a political ladder available to climb should they want to do more
- Opens a parallel track for those who wanted to always do something but did not have a vehicle till now
- Lets them start small, and then rise – based on public opinion
- Multiple different ways to begin – can debate or start a small local circle
- Should be open to learning – new ideas on what actually creates prosperity
- Can participate as a thinker (discussing policies) or a doer (front-end politics)
- Should be willing to commit a few hours a week
- Is as close to the real world of politics – primaries, elections, and more
- Open to everyone – as long as they are willing to give up on ‘party politics’
- Ensures a level playing field – no godfather, no surname advantage, no money accelerator
Tomorrow: Part 11